Thursday, December 10, 2009

Memphis and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad, bump

Last December we noticed a large bump on Memphis' back. Just above the pant line on top of his vertebrae, looked as if there was a marble under the skin. It scared us. We started praying and made yet another appointment with the doctor. "'s Memphis. Hasn't he...and doesn't he have enough to deal with? Severe asthma. Verbal apraxia. My boy, Lord. My precious little boy. He is so small, Father...I mean...only 26 pounds and just three months shy of his third birthday He has already undergone surgery once in his short life us a way through this...this new...uh...possibility."

So. To the doctor we go. She has no idea what it is. Never seen anything like it before. We are told to keep an eye on it and call if we notice changes and "bring him back in 3 to 5 weeks." We wait. In five weeks time it doubled in size and the doctor tells us everything points to a fatty tumor. Now I don't know about you but, just the word "tumor" gives me pause I'd rather not take! At this point an MRI is recommended and away we go. The results are forwarded to a surgeon. We meet with him about a week later.

Calcified cyst. I do not particularly care for the word "cyst" either, but it is better than tumor. So Megan and I sigh. Book surgery to remove the thing. That's best they say. OK. About that time, Memphis gets sick. It always begins with an ugly cough and when the boogers turned green the surgery was postponed. Alright. Again we wait. Another appointment with the surgeon was scheduled for six weeks later. That time Memphis was ready and the surgery happened a week later with no complications. Thank God in heaven for His incredible grace! During post-op, however, the surgeon informed us that the object was not a cyst but a "solid mass". The word WE heard was.."tumor." Let us wait for the pathology report.

Memphis slightly resembled that you tube kid who was "drunk" after a visit to the dentist. He recovered very quickly though and the next day Megan and myself were heard countless times yelling "Memphis! Get down from there you JUST had surgery!" We are so thankful for the resilience of the young.

Pathology results came back and they called it a "Fibroma" with spindle cells. Not cancer. The best of results other than cyst they said. He recovered well and has no lingering effects...

fast forward to November of 2009.

We noticed two similar knots or bumps in the same area, scheduled another appointment with the surgeon, and yep...they have to come out. The presence of spindle cells indicate the possibility of cancerous cells appearing. "Lord, thank you for this precious little boy. Please help us be strong for him. Let this be it. Bring health Father"

He will have surgery again on Monday December 14 2009 and we will wait for the pathology results.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


"Daddy Daddy..." is what I hear when I get Home. It is one of the greatest sounds in all of my life. Usually, the refrain is lead by Memphis, my son. My son Memphis. Sorry if this seems see... tomorrow Memphis James will be my son; I will be a father again.

Tomorrow we have the final hearing for the adoption. He will be my son on paper as well as in our hearts. I love that boy; he has brought such richness to my life. I want to be a father to all my kids, but right now, there is nothing like being " Daddy".

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Adam Wade Catt, In Loving Memory

Grief is never an easy thing. Saying goodbye when you don't want to...and I do not want to... is so difficult. My family is coming to terms with the loss of Adam Wade Catt, my cousin. He is gone from those that love him far too soon. 39 years young, three children, a wife, countless family and friends; everyone of us wishing we had more time with him. More words from him. To see him smile again. I am cherishing every memory as I believe we all are.

Some of my very earliest memories involve Adam; I was not quite two years old when he was born. My family, his family and Uncle Neale's family all lived on the same block, less than four or five houses away. That is eight cousins in pretty close proximity. Our family is extremely blessed in the cousin department. They all have such diverse interests. The Allen boys had their love of all things reptilian. Lori taught me the art of arguing. Gina brought direction to us all and Melissa David Mark showed us video games and attempted to teach us the Rubik's Cube. I could go on for pages about the great cousins I have but this about Adam.

Soon we all moved away from our cozy little block and some even to different towns. Christmas and Thanksgiving were whirlwinds of fun though, as we all came back together for a time. I was a goofy West Texas junior high kid when Adam and his brother Gregor started spending several weeks over the summer at Grandma's house. Those were the best summers of my life. Adam and Gregor showed up with skateboards so I bought a cheap one just to play along. Soon I was hooked. We skated all over Lubbock, spent hours reading Thrasher magazine, and watching skateboarding videos. Our favorite was "The Search for Animal Chin"; we were fans of Tony Hawk before Tony Hawk was cool! We played Dungeons and Dragons and left paint at some of our favorite skate spots. I was a good boarder, Gregor was better. Adam was beautiful. He inspired me to try something new every time he picked up a skateboard.

Texas Frying Pan Lubbock, TX
Adam was small in stature but in a way he was larger than life. No, he didn't swagger; he...just...was. Every time Adam walked into a room it made you smile. His smile was the thing. He just really enjoyed...laughing. We saw the movie "Arthur" maybe eight times. In the theater. Something about that silly drunk Englishman made us laugh. Alot.

I spent a summer at their house and when I bought my first real deck, Adam was there. It was a
"Gator" by Vision. The wild Mark Gator Rogowski, was my favorite. Adam and Gregor helped me build it from the ground up; we even recreated part of the crazy design in grip tape on the deck's top side. A year later when that board was trash, especially after being accidentally run over by Grandma, Adam went with me to get a Hosoi Hammerhead deck. I still have that board today. Adam popped my shoulder back into place after a "totally rad" hand plant went wrong then helped me celebrate the effort. I miss him.
We had not seen one another for years but he's never been far from my heart. Adam, you and Gregor gave me some of the things I most enjoy in life. Skateboarding, Punk Rock, adrenaline rushes, and memories.

Every time I look at my son, Memphis, I see Adam. He too is small for his age, but fears nothing. When people meet him, even for a moment, he leaves an impression. Adam left a lifelong impression on me and I am grateful for all we shared. I love you and will miss you cousin.